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62                  HISTORY OF PERSIA

is the tongue of the Arabian, but he be slain/'   Strange
orders these from a member of the Kureish tribe I

The Accession of Abul Abbas, A.H. 132 (749),—After
the victory of Kahtaba in the neighbourhood of Kufa,
Abu Salma, an agent of the Hashimite cause in Khorasan^
took possession of Kufa and governed under the title of
"Vizier of the house of Mohamed." The two brothers
of Ibrahim who had been in hiding now emerged- Abul
Abbas was the younger, but of a noble mother, and
consequently his claims were held to be greater than
.those of Abu Jafar, whose mother was a slave-girl It
might have been expected that the proclamation of Abul
Abbas as Caliph would immediately follow, but Abu
Salma continually delayed until his hand was forced by
members of the Abbasid party who brought Abul Abbas
to the Great Mosque, There he ascended the pulpit
and inveighed against the infamous Omayyads, who had
usurped the rights of the Prophet* He is said to have
ended his fierce denunciations by exclaiming, a I am the
Great Avenger and my name is Saffah^c the Shedder of
Blood.1" By this title Abul Abbas is known in history,
although it is not certain that he conferred it upon

The Massacre of the Omayyads.—The title of the
Caliph was made good by acts of ferocity directed against
the many members of the fallen dynasty. Every scion
of the house was hunted for his life. In Palestine the
uncle of the Caliph added treachery to cruelty- He
proclaimed an amnesty and confirmed it by a feast to
ninety members of the family. When all were seated a
poet declaimed against the evil deeds of the Omayyad
house, and at this signal they were murdered to a man.
A carpet was drawn over the ninety corpses and the
banquet was resumed! One of the family, born under
a lucky star, escaped the general slaughter, and after
wandering as a reftigee in Africa was invited to reign
in Spam, where he founded a new Omayyad dynasty
which attained considerable splendour* /
J5% of AM 4bb*s and his Dtath> A,H. 136
«e reign o£ Abtf Abbas was stormy throuh